With hotels and restaurants across three states, attorney Tim O’Reilly is a busy man.
Since the 2007 launch of Springfield-based O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC, the company has grown from managing one hotel to nearly 10 hotels and restaurants today, according to its Web site
O’Reilly and company unveiled the Doubletree Hotel in 2008 at the corner of Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street, after purchasing the former Hawthorn Park Hotel and completing $9 million in renovations. Later that same year, O’Reilly Hospitality opened a Houlihan’s restaurant inside the Doubletree.
Since then, O’Reilly has been pushing the company forward, opening a second Houlihan’s in September near the 125-room, $9.8 million Hilton Garden Inn it opened in March at 4155 S. Nature Center Way.
The company’s footprint is likely to expand.
“We’re looking at a few potential projects,” he says, speaking via telephone on the road to Tulsa, Okla., where another hotel will come under O’Reilly Hospitality management next year.
The company also operates a Baymont Inn & Suites in Branson and Yellowstone Valley Lodge in Livingston, Mont.
The company has 325 employees, including Scott Tarwater, the former vice president of development for Springfield-based John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, who joined O’Reilly Hospitality earlier this year.
He says the company is moving ahead cautiously in the Ozarks, citing mixed economic signals. But he believes there are still unmet hospitality needs locally.
He points to a city average occupancy rate below 50 percent in Springfield during 2010, but he says his hotels — with 326 rooms in Springfield — have surpassed that rate by at least 15 percent. Some of that occupancy came from a surge of Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency employees, insurance agents and construction workers that used the Springfield area as a base for responding to the May 22 tornado in Joplin, he says.
O’Reilly says the food and lodging components of his business go hand-in-hand.
“You really can’t have one without the other,” he adds. “The restaurants are just part of the hotel experience.”
O’Reilly Hospitality also focuses on sustainability, with the Hilton Garden Inn designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards.
From the parking lot to the restroom sinks, the hotel’s features aim to conserve energy and water.
“It’s a little bit of an investment and it costs a little more, but over time ... it makes great sense economically,” he says, citing energy savings of roughly 40 percent.
O’Reilly Hospitality’s hotels and restaurants support numerous organizations in the Ozarks. Houlihan’s, for example, offers a “focus night” program through which local charities receive a portion of a night’s sales. Ozark Greenways, Convoy of Hope and Ozarks Food Harvest have benefited from focus nights, O’Reilly says, with $10,000 raised for Convoy’s Joplin relief efforts in early June.
DoubleTree Hotel has a care committee that focuses on educating and helping community issues, says Brittney Battaglia-Pickering, marketing coordinator for O’Reilly Hospitality.
“We really try to keep (philanthropy) as a priority,” O’Reilly adds. “That’s something that (employees) rally around.” From the 2011 Economic Impact Awards publication